08/02/09 107 W, 1 I - + 8 - 7 Fire Hooks


One of the earliest tools for firefighting was the hook, which dates to at least the 1600s. Ditto the bucket, ladder, and pick axe. Hooks, or "fire hooks," were iron implements used to pull down roofing materials, roofs, or entire buildings. They were iron hooks attached to chains and then to ropes. They're also the origin of the word "hook and ladder." These hooks are easy enough to imagine, but how about a real picture? Here's one from the Maryland Fire Museum, photographed four years ago. This hook was carried on a hand- or horse-drawn service-ladder truck. Click to enlarge:
 





Eventually, the chain was replaced by a long wooden handle but the term “hook” remained. Some fire companies over the years changed the term to “pike pole” but “hook” is still the traditional fire service term used to describe this tool of the trade.
Vern (Email) - 08/03/09 - 22:11



  
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